Don’t get me wrong. I (Amos Choi) think Para church’s are good and do wonderful things. They are there to help the church, not replace them. I’m not anti-para church. Let’s just make that clear. However, one thing needs to be said about para-church’s with regards to the church:
Para-churches have downfalls, while churches do not.
I know it’s a bold statement, but let me explain. Like i said previously, para-church’s are supposed to only help the church not replace them. That means they are supposed to act as a supplement to the church. Whether it be CCM, RUF, KCM, KCCC, CCC, and etc. all these para-church organizations are merely supplements that should help the church grow. That being said, we have to understand the nature of supplements. Supplements can have good effects, but at the same time there are bad effects that can happen – hence the downfall. I don’t care what sort of campus ministry you go to, every para-church has its downfall. Whether it’s bad theology, bad witnessing, bad resourcing, and etc. Every para-church is just going to have their downfalls. It’s up to individual believers to use the good effects of the para-church ministry in order to help out the church and disregard the bad effects of the para-church in order not to hurt the church. SO far so good.
But the reason why i said that the church has no downfalls is not because i think the church is perfect. As a matter of fact, a lot of churches are imperfect, but by God’s grace we still have them. The church isn’t a supplement like the para-church. Instead, it’s the main source of what God has specifically ordained in His Word to gather believers in order to make them grow. The church isn’t an optional thing according to Matthew 16:16, because the church holds the keys of the kingdom. This is where the gospel is preached. I know i’m just playing off words here, but the church doesn’t have a downfall. Instead, when we see problems within the church, it’s not because of a “downfall”, but because the church isn’t doing specifically what God has said in His word – whether that be loving people, worshiping the right way, fellowship, and etc. The question for the church isn’t to figure out it’s “downfalls”, but to ask the question of what part of scripture is the church not being faithful to. If you look all thoughout Acts, you don’t find the apostles thinking about trendy fads to hook in people with, but instead you find believers gathering and trying to be a better church that is faithful to the Word.
I know a lot of people get hurt by the church. That’s why i said it’s imperfect. But at the same time, it’s the church that God has given to us for us to grow in faith. Para-churches are nice, but in the end, they aren’t the main substance of our spiritual growth. To switch church as a supplement and the para-church as the main source of nourishment is not only a grave error, but it’s also got to be the greatest downfall you can make.